Books for Foodies


I will only list books I like and  recommend!  At the moment, the list is alphabetized by book title.  There are more books I plan to add here.  Some are about health… some will obviously not be so inclined.  Overall… discussions about food that I have enjoyed, or have learned something useful from.

About food, books

  • American Catch: the Fight for Our Local Seafood, Paul Greenberg.  The state of fishing and fisheries today.
  • The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.  Dan Buettner.  A great survey of the Blue Zones regions, and longevity.  I will note that except for a subset of the Seventh Day Adventists, none of these people were vegan.  And (with a limited study) they fared less well than the vegetarian / occasionally meat-eating component of that population.  Turns out a lot of health and longevity also depends on getting out of the rat-race mentality, and getting some (even if light) exercise, and being in contact with your neighbors (that you respect mutually).  Yes, food counts, too.  
  • The Book of Eels.  Patrik Svensson. The life and fate of the European eel.
  • The Cooking Gene, Michael Twitty. Black American cookery from the South, intertwining several cultures (African and otherwise). 
  • Death by Pad Thai: And Other Unforgettable Meals.  Doug Bauer.  A collection of shorts. 
  • Eat Fat, Lose Fat, Mary Enig and Sally Fallon.  Active in the Weston A. Price world.  Nutritionally, of interest to me.  
  • Eat the Yolks, Liz Wolfe. A nutritional breakdown of healthy foods for omnivores, well-written and not dry..
  • Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, Jo Robinson.  One of the point made here is that some of our vegetables are best eaten raw.  But other vegetation provides more nutrition upon cooking, in these cases opening up nutritional bioavailabilty.
  • Extra Virginity:  The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil,  Tom Mueller.  My extra virgin olive oil of choice is Olea, from Greece.  Can’t always find it.  I understand the Costco olive oil is a good one, too (but I don’t currently live near a Costco).  
  • Food Fix:  How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, Our Planet – One Bite at a Time. Mark Hyman. As this says.
  • Fast Food Nation, Eric S.  The book is excellent and informative, but don’t bother watching the movie of the same name.  While portions of the book are slightly out of date, enough is unfortunately still valid today.  
  • Food in Antiquity, Brothwell and Brothwell.  Dry but interesting survey of foods in the Mediterranean and European cultures.  
  • Food in Medieval Times, Melitta Weiss Adamson.  Also dry – meant to be something more like a textbook, this is exceedingly informative concerning British and continental European foodways.  
  • Food, Inc.  The book made to bring further points forth in relation to the movie of the same name.  Both are excellent resources concerning our factory-enabled food systems.  I will note that there are few easy answers.  
  • Food:  The Gift of Osiris, Volume I.  Darby, Ghalioungui, Grivetti.  
  • Food:  The Gift of Osiris, Volume II. Darby, Ghalioungui, Grivetti.  These books are a part of my fascination with ancient Egyptian culture.  They are out of print, and I lucked into one of these for a few mere dollars.  The other, when I found it, cost a bit more, but not obnoxiously so.  
  • Kitchen Confidential.  Anthony Bourdain.  His first foray into cooking, and seriously the best of his writings.  
  • The Man Who Ate Everything.  Jeffrey Steingarten.  As the food critic for Vogue, he had to travel around the world trying all sorts of unexpected foods.  An interesting read, although I’ll note we were doing this sort of thing in my family before it became in Vogue… as it were.
  • Mycelium Running:  How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, Paul Stamets.  This one will also end up in the Homesteading Books section.  The role of fungi and mushrooms in our ecosystem. 
  • The Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia, Jean Bottero.  Ok, certainly NOT the oldest cuisine in the world, but probably the oldest we have record of.  Although I might want to investigate ancient China along the way.  But very interesting!
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan.  The excellent book which actually firmed up my desires to get going on eating via the principles Pollan highlighted herein.  
  • Perfect Health Diet, Paul Jaminet and Shou-Ching Jaminet.  Essentially a Paleo offshoot food plan but with rice and other non-gluten-containing grains. 
  • Pig Tales:  An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat.  Barry Estabrook.  
  • The Physiology of Taste: Or, Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy.  Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.  My parents were having a go at downsizing living, so they could move to an assisted community, and allowed me to nab things from their bookshelves.  I grabbed this book, an ancient 19th century classic.  A classic about early French cuisine.  And even a segment about why he was not in love with what we were doing here in America a hundred or so years ago.  An original gourmand who wrote about it!  
  • Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat.: Barry Estabrook.  Why I’d rather purchase pork from local, home-grown farmers.  
  • The Raw and the Cooked: Adventures of a Roving Gourmand, Jim Harrison.  Wonderful in-the-moment essays from someone who enjoyed what he enjoyed, healthy or not.    Wonderfully down to earth here!
  • Real Food: What to Eat and Why, Nina Planck.  A totally practical book, Nina delves into “real food” and why the Standard American Diet (SAD) falls so abysmally short.  An excellent guide to Real Food.  
  • Taste: Memory, Forgotten Foods, Lost Flavors, and Why They Matter.  David Buchanan. Well, I do agree.  
  • Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.  Barry Estabrook.  And, as far as salad tomatoes, absolutely TRUE.  .Even as a kid, the only tasty tomatoes were farmstand, or home grown.  I went to college in the 70s, and in SEPTEMBER (of all times) there was a salad bar.  With lots of really red tomatoes.  I loaded my plate down, took it back to my table.  I ate maybe two bites, and returned the rest to the garbage.  Things haven’t improved, but I know better.  Grow them myself, or visit farmers’ markets.  Or, roadside stands.  
  • Wheat Belly, William Davis.  Even if you don’t have Celiac’s, or even if you don’t currently manifest any diagnosable problems with gluten — this book details reasons you may wish to abstain from gluten anyway.  For one, there’s a lot more of it out there than relatively recently, which makes it a bit of a biological experiment in real time.
  • Your Personal Paleo Code, Chris Kresser.  How to adapt the overall Paleo diet to your personal needs, and not necessarily remaining totally definitionally Paleo.  He notes, wisely, that we are all different, metabolically and nutritionally, speaking.  



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